World Cup Reality Check

I call it soccer – see here for why – so let’s get that declaration out of the way.

Next, let’s call it sour grapes, now that Brazil and Argentina are both out of the World Cup in South Africa.

But I wanted to talk about all the controversies regarding FIFA’s refusal to use technology to assist them in resolving disputed calls on the field. When bad calls are made, like the one against England against Germany, and again in the Argentina-Mexico and Slovenia-USA matches, technology, through the use of replays, should be used to make the call once and for all. Careers and millions of dollars of investments, not to mention the hopes and dreams of entire nations, are riding on proper officiating. Accounting for human error, technology should augment the eagle-eyed referees, not replace them, and be used judiciously in the event of controversial calls.

But why ignore tools that are readily available? Technology is already used in training videos, as well as athlete conditioning and preparation. The stadiums themselves are riddled with technological innovations, from the tickets to the seats, to the big screens. Sports in general evolves, supported by technology. And with the stakes as high as they are, why does FIFA cling on to its dinosaur-ish tendencies and wake up to the realities of the 21st Century. Other sports take advantage of the instant replay rules (I can list many, but let’s look at cricket’s third umpire system for reviewing run-outs); why not on soccer’s biggest stage?

Finally, admittedly, I’m not a soccer-phile, so I really am just passive observer riding the hype. I’m just always impressed by the technologies required to pull off 21st Century spectacles (remember the Beijing Olympics?). So why can’t soccer come up with a more savvy way of clock management to remove the whole stoppage-time business. Stop the clock during dead time, maybe?

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5 Responses to “World Cup Reality Check”

  1. Jamaican Woman says:

    That’s exactly the view of thousands of us. We cannot understand why FIFA is adamant in sticking to old policies. Actions on the field in this World Cup dictate that it is now time for change.

  2. Lloyd Scott says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly.We can go back further to that “hands of God” goal by no other than Diego Maradonna against England a few World Cups ago.Ironically,England was awarded a goal against Germany in the 1966 World Cup final that was exactly like this one in 2010!

    Why is FIFA refusing to use current state of the art technology to resolve
    disputes by errors on the part of Referees is beyond me.

  3. Yanique says:

    I agree with you Lloyd. While there continues to be growth in other major sports, FIFA seems not yet interested in football having the same technological growth. We in sports are now happy for techo-improvements whether the calls are for or against us. It goes without comprehension how a major federation such as FIFA could still in this day and age be dependent on human error filled referees to make world class decisions that may be the difference between life and death for a person, country, or even the sport we love so much. This “Hand of God” or “Hand of the Devil” era must come to end if football is to continue flourishing at the highest level.

  4. Napoleon Black says:

    I would go further to change one rule as well regarding hand ball. Uruguay had no business in the semifinals. That last-minute hand ball which robbed Ghana of the goal was scandalous. The rule should be that in such instances the offending player should not only be sent off, but the goal allowed/given.

  5. Dalton says:

    The answer is simple. Controversy breeds interest.

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5 comments so far
parris Posted by: parris July 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm